Protection market update for October 2017
MACRO NEWS AND DRIVERS
Understanding insurance and the gig economy
The conditions faced by workers in the ‘gig economy’ have been back in the news recently thanks to the publication of findings from the Taylor Review into modern working practices. This exercise has helped to highlight the vulnerability of the self-employed should they become ill or injured and unable to work.
REGULATION AND LEGISLATION
Compliance tip: commission disclosure for pure protection contracts
We have seen confusion around commission disclosure on pure protection contracts (e.g. term assurance), partially due to interpretation of existing rules under the Insurance Conduct of Business Sourcebook. The new Insurance Distribution Directive introduces updated disclosure requirements from February 2018, which should hopefully simplify matters.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENTS AND INNOVATION
Royal London adds benefits to menu income protection
Royal London has made changes to its income protection proposition including fracture cover, hospitalisation payment and an additional payment on death. In addition, the hospitalisation payment provides £100 per night if more than six consecutive nights spent in hospital during the deferred period including connected claims, up to a maximum of 90 nights during the term.
AIG life introduces underwriting charges
AIG Life has brought in underwriting changes in a bid to speed up the application process for customers. The rules on AIG Life's underwriting engine will increase online acceptances and reduce the number of GP reports it needs.
L&G to slash protection paperwork
Legal & General Insurance has put processes in place to help consumers and advisers have an easier process when it comes to obtaining protection. Mark Holweger, managing director of Legal & General Insurance, said: "There is still a huge protection gap.
National Friendly launches PMI plan with private GP access
The private medical insurance plan offers a range of benefits including the ability for customers to gain immediate access to a network of private GPs across the UK.
Vitality Life launches 'lite' option
Vitality Life has widened access to its product range with the launch of Vitality Lite, which features significantly lower minimum monthly premiums. The new offering is for customers who want a lower cost plan and who previously may not have considered Vitality because of the higher minimum premium.
Aviva doubles children's critical illness cover
Aviva has doubled the amount it will pay for children's cancer diagnosis to £50,000. As part of several enhancements to its Life Insurance Plus and Critical Illness Plus products, the insurer has doubled the maximum benefit payable where upgraded children's benefit has been selected when taking out an adult policy.
Self-pay private healthcare market grows 15%
The Private Healthcare UK Self-Pay Market Study 2017 found that the market was growing due to pressure on NHS funding and lengthening waiting lists, and the wide variety of prices available to patients who are prepared to "shop around" for private treatment.
Four out of five lack financial safety net
Savers are failing to make plans for an expected downturn in their personal finances, according to a report by HSBC. More than a third (35 per cent) of people in the UK think they will be financially worse off in the next three years, according to HSBC’s latest Power of Protection report, titled Facing the Future.
Lack of income protection puts two million self-employed Brits at risk
Nearly two million self-employed Britons are vulnerable to financial shocks as they could not save any money to meet their future needs, according to a report by UK-based insurer LV=. Dubbed Income Roulette, a study of debt, savings and protection among 9,000 people by insurer LV=, the report stated that four in 10 (41%) self-employed people are not able to save any money each month and a further one in 10 (11%) save less than £50.
Baigrie: we must make the claim protection’s core product
The protection industry must do to claims what Amazon did to books. What Amazon did to books, we have to near enough do to claims. Insurers need to change processes and deliver swift satisfaction, not drawn out interrogation.